July 20th, 2006 09:36 EST
Lebanon Response Report
Our top priority remains the welfare and security of American citizens.
The United States is using all available means to ensure safe passage of American citizens out of Lebanon, including chartered commercial ships, US military aircraft, and US military ships en route to the Eastern Mediterranean.
Approximately 2600 American Citizens have been transported out of Lebanon by the United States since Sunday, July 16, 2006.
This number includes 1080 departees who left Beirut via the USS Nashville today, Thursday, July 20, most of whom are AmCits.
We transported over 1200 citizens out of Lebanon to Cyprus yesterday, Wednesday, July 19, 2006
160 via helicopter flights (2 sorties of 2 helicopters each)
1040 Americans arrived in Cyprus on the Orient Queen
10 via Canadian chartered ships
We will continue to transport Americans using all resources available. The assets assigned or contracted to help in this effort include:
Helicopter flights (4 sorties of 2 helicopters each)
The MS Ramah, a Saudi-owned, Panamanian-flagged, passenger vessel (capacity up to 1400)
The Orient Queen (capacity up to 1000)
The Vittoria M, a United States-chartered Italian passenger vessel (capacity up to 325)
Canadian chartered ships
Canadian ship Blue Dawn
The USS Nashville (capacity up to 1200)
The USS Iwo Jima (capacity up to 1000)
The USS Whidbey Island (capacity up to 1000)
The USS Trenton (capacity up to 800)
The USS Swift (capacity up to 800)
We are working to provide onward travel from Cyprus. As of this morning, we have chartered 9 flights to provide for onward travel from Cyprus and arrangements are continuing. The first flight arrived in Baltimore, MD on July 20 with 145 American Citizens.
In this extraordinary case, Secretary Rice has directed the State Department to waive the requirement for American citizens departing Lebanon to reimburse the State Department for travel costs.
The State Department is working with our partners in the Department of Defense, the private sector, and our friends and allies around the world to assist transporting Americans in the safest manner possible.
What to do if you are in Lebanon or have loved ones in Lebanon?
Information is available from with the Department of State by calling: 202-501-4444 (outside U.S.) and 1-888-407-4747 (inside U.S.) and at http://travel.state.gov
Source: U.S. Dept. of State